September 10, 2016 was a big day in the EdTech world. Why? Because none other than Edcamp Foothills was happening, and we just so happen to know one of the sponsors. :)
You guessed it! This September, the Squirrels team was a proud sponsor of Edcamp Foothills in Valdese, North Carolina. Although this was the only Edcamp we sponsored this month, it was undeniably one to remember. The best part? We were lucky enough to have participation from two of our Alpha Squirrels (Nancy Betler and Megan McBain) at this professional development event. Not only were they able to spread the knowledge of Squirrels with other educators, but they were also able to come out of this day feeling empowered and motivated as an educator.
Alpha Squirrels Nancy and Meghan at EdCamp Foothills
“EdCamps are an amazing trend in professional development where the participants guide the training. As it says on the EdCamp Foothills website, ‘The learning at EdCamps is driven by the PEOPLE who choose to get up early on a Saturday and come out to learn.’ The participants not only choose the sessions that will be offered that day but also decide which of those sessions best meet their individual professional needs,” Betler said.
Edcamps are great resources to learn new tips and tricks that teachers may not have known about before. More importantly teachers are able to grow and strengthen their personal learning network with other teachers and EdTech companies. This is a great time for teachers to talk about what is and is not working in their classrooms, as well as gather contact information to collaborate after the event ends. Additionally, EdTech companies, like us, are always open to supporting and helping educators in any way that we can, which is why sponsoring Edcamps is something that is vital to the advancement of teachers.
“It is wonderful that so many different education companies understand the value of EdCamps,” Betler said.
Edcamp Foothills discussed an array of topics including Makerspaces, Literacy, , BreakoutEdu, Canvas and of course, Reflector 2. They didn’t just talk about these items, they experienced it, and got to see them in action, which is something that is so special about the Edcamp movement. Most of the time, getting to see these topics in action allows teachers to leave feeling confident and ready to implement them into their own lessons.
“I felt like BreakoutEdu was something that I had needed to see in action before using it in order to make it concrete. EdCamp Foothills gave me that opportunity. It left me empowered to confidently use it with my students,” Betler said.
Seeing Nancy, Megan and the rest of the educators that attended Edcamp Foothills feeling personally and professionally empowered is something that makes our job so rewarding. The impact that Edcamps have on educators is something that can last for years to come. We can’t wait to see all the great things to come from this day.
“EdCamps are definitely ‘created by educators for educators,’ and that is what I think makes the difference in their success. The people who run them are passionate about them as well as the people who attend,” Betler said.
To learn more about our Alpha Squirrels program, you can visit alpha.airsquirrels.com.